More than half of Australians (52%) have experienced health concerns such as respiratory problems, asthma, allergy symptoms, poor sleep and headaches due to poor air quality at home, according to research commissioned by Daikin Australia.

The Daikin Australia ‘Understanding indoor air quality in Australian homes’ research found that 84% of Australians hold some level of concern about indoor air quality, with Covid contributing to 40% of Australian adults changing the way they think, and manage, air quality in their home to keep the family healthy.

“In the aftermath of the Black Summer Bushfires, Covid and now the effects of La Niña, Daikin commissioned research to better understand how Australians are managing the indoor air quality at home,” Daikin Australia general manager, Dan Tosh said.

“While many Australians know that good indoor air quality is important, our research has found that some of the simplest choices and behaviours to improve indoor air at home go overlooked.”

During the cooler months, the risk of poor-quality air in homes increases, resulting in mould growth and dust mites due to poor air circulation, pets spending more time indoors and even the type of heating used in the home all contribute to higher levels of pollution and allergens indoors.

Almost half (48%) of the Australians surveyed by Daikin stated that they were concerned about managing the cost of heating this winter. Choosing a cost-efficient home heating system was named as the number one priority for respondents.

Choosing a home heating solution that also improves air quality was rated as the least important feature for Australians. One of the most common actions among research respondents to improve air quality in the home (59%) was to always keep a window open, a practice that is likely making the problem worse, according to National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, Professor Sheryl van Nunen.

“Opening just one window can introduce more allergens, such as mould spores, pollution, pollen and smoke to the air. Good ventilation in the home means cross ventilation. The air must be able to enter and leave your house, for example, through the front and back doors, to have any meaningful impact,” Professor van Nunen said.

The National Asthma Council Australia created the Sensitive Choice program to help people identify products and services that are asthma and allergy aware and have been reviewed and approved by an independent expert panel.

All Daikin systems with Streamer Technology carry the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice blue butterfly symbol, including air purifiers, Alira X and Zena. In lab testing, Daikin’s Streamer technology was found to destroy 99.9% of mould and allergens in 24 hours, and 99.6% of pollen in just two hours.

“Daikin’s Streamer technology is an active air purification system that improves indoor air quality. It works by using charged air particles to destroy pollutants like pollen, mould and other allergens such as dust mites from the air,” Tosh added.